Weekend Things

I think I made it to Tuesday last week when I said, “I want to do NOTHING this weekend!”¬† This time of year is exhausting, people.¬† Exhausting in the best and most fun way possible, but exhausting nevertheless.¬† Of course, I realize I am incapable of actually “doing nothing,” so that’s not how the weekend panned out, BUT I did get lots and lots of sleep so I’m calling it an overall success.

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We didn’t have Friday plans, so I asked Joey on a date to a Mexican restaurant down the street from us.¬† He’s been begging to go for… oh probably a year, so I finally gave in.¬† The margaritas were good (I got one made with St. Germain!), the chips and salsa were great, the food was okay (not “messy enough” for Joey) and the service was plain weird.¬† Weird, as in our server gave our drinks to the wrong table and just seemed very confused all night.¬† Annual viewing of the Santa Claus afterwards.¬† Not gonna lie, I feel asleep watching it.¬† How does it end?!

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Saturday involved pancakes (Joey is on a mission to find a “go to” recipe and I’m totally in support because it means lots of pancake eating for me!), couch lounging, yoga and a Saturday night movie.¬† We also walked over to a friend’s new jewelry/vintage clothing store in the afternoon and it’s official, our neighborhood is hip.¬† We watched Short Term 12 and though it was heavy it was also very good.

Oh and I bought eggnog because Joey claimed he’d never had the real stuff before.¬† It was only halfway through pouring that I realized we used to cut it with milk when I was younger.¬† Even uncut it still tasted like my childhood.

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Pre-Show Family Photo

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It snowed on Sunday!¬† FINALLY!¬† I mean, I guess I shouldn’t complain about 60 degree days in December, but snow makes everything feel more festive, doesn’t it?¬† Plus drinking tea (or coffee, in Joey’s case) in bed while the snow falls is the epitome of winter time happiness.¬† We spent the afternoon at the Buell seeing Jersey Boys!¬† The signs warning of “authentic, profane, Jersey language” made me laugh.

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The show was great!¬† This is going to sound na√Įve, but I had no idea it was actually about the Four Seasons (as opposed to an unrelated story that just happened to use their music,¬†√† la Mama Mia).¬† Not only was the music amazing, but I loved learning about the group’s history.¬† And the actor playing Frankie Valli totally nailed his voice.


One snowy walk later, we landed ourselves at Osteria Marco for an early dinner.¬† I adore Larimer Street during the holidays.¬† I mean they have lights strung from one side of the street to the other year round, but it always looks prettier in December.¬† Plus all the restaurants and shops looks extra glitzy.¬† I’ve been wanting to try Osteria Marco for years and it lived up to my expectations.¬† Everything I tried was exceptionally good.¬† Or is that the bottle of wine I shared with Lori talking?

Despite getting lots of sleep this weekend, I still needed coffee this morning.  Monday, why are you always so rough?

Our Honeymoon: One Last Day is Paris

Well, I was¬†joking when I said I’d be recapping our wedding and honeymoon through the rest of the year, but here it is almost halfway through December and I’m still going.¬† This is it, though!¬† Our final day in Paris (followed by¬†one delayed flight, one missed flight, four movies, lots of jet lag and my mom holding up a welcome home sign), could not have been more perfect.


We had planned to spend the day at Versailles but upon second thought, I decided I really wanted to see the P√®re Lachaise Cemetery, where some pretty famous graves are located.¬† So we made our way there first thing in the morning.¬† The cemetery itself was really incredible.¬† It was like a giant version of the cemeteries I’ve been to in New Orleans.¬† And early in the morning, when it’s still¬†foggy and there’s no one there, it’s extra beautifully chilling.


We strolled about, saw the graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Edith Piaf then got on a train to Versaille, which is about a 40-minute ride from Paris.




As soon as we saw the Ch√Ęteau we were blown away.¬† And the closer we got, the more amazing it looked.¬† All that gold and just how big everything is.¬† It’s truly stunning!¬† Our Rick Steves book came in handy as we walked through all the rooms because he provided a good history of Louis XIV’s reign and life at Versailles.


I took a French Revolution class in college so I probably should’ve already known a lot about “The Sun King,” but apparently that class went in one ear and out the other, because everything we read seemed new to me.¬† And so so interesting!¬† Guys, he was king for 72 years!!!¬† I didn’t even know people lived that long back then.¬† He outlived his eldest son, eldest grandson and eldest great-grandson.¬† What?!




The grandiosity of Versailles (the room, the grounds, the gardens, oh my!) plus all the interesting facts about Louis XIV made for a pretty mind blowing experience.  It was kind of hard to wrap our heads around the fact that we were inside the actual palace he lived in.  P.S. The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite thing ever.









Oh and before we went inside, I made Joey take a picture of me in my wide-brimmed hat, then I promptly stuffed that thing in the trash.  It was windy, cloudy and it only cost me $7.  Not worth it.  Rest in peace, hat.  I barely knew ye.




After making our way through the¬†main palace, the surrounding gardens, the king’s summer home and Marie Antoinette’s house (so big, so much walking), we caught the train back into Paris.







We realized it was our very last dinner is Paris and we needed to go out with a bang so after some train research (and maybe a short nap…) I found Les Papilles.¬† The only problem, it was a small place¬†where you had to have a reservation.¬† Oops! ¬†We decided to show up right when they opened at 7 PM to try and grab a table.¬† We had to wait 20 minutes to see if there was a no show, but we ended up being one of two lucky couples to grab a table without a reservation.¬† Thank you Gods of Honeymoon¬†Luck!¬† And you guys, the dinner we got was amazing!¬† Definitely the best meal we had in Paris.


It was a pre-determined 4-course meal and I had to hold back the drool as the restaurant owner went through and described all the courses.  First up, a bottle of red wine and some carrot soup.  We were particularly excited that the soup came out in a giant serving bowl that we got to ladle over our individually-garnished bowls.  Bacon, little cubes of bread, shaved carrot, herbs galore and a dollop of sour cream.  Can soup always be served like this, please?



Next up, a copper pot¬†full of crispy chicken,¬†veggies, buttery roasted garlic and penne,¬†all swimming in the prettiest pastel pesto.¬† Alliteration for the win!¬† Turns out penne is actually hard to fish out of a pot with a fork, but it was worth the trouble.¬† Maybe we should’ve just eaten it straight from the pot?



Oh look, a cheese course!¬† Here’s proof that the French take their cheese seriously. ¬†That’s a chunk of brie, just for me, to eat by itself (and maybe a little bit of balsamic caramelized onions) with a fork.¬† Can we bring this tradition to America, please?¬† Those onions were to die for, btw.


And finally, dessert.¬† Because we hadn’t eaten enough.¬† Panna Cotta with a caramel foam on top.¬† I always think desserts with “foam” sound stupid and pretentious but that caramel foam was so dang good that I just can’t knock it. ¬†And Joey’s eyes when he tasted that caramel? ¬†It can only be described as pure joy.


After dinner, we hustled back to our hotel. ¬†*It is not recommended to eat so much food and then walk so fast‚Ķ* ¬†But we had to make it back in time to steal borrow (with the definite intention of returning!) a blanket from our hotel room and meet our French tour guide! ¬†We took good old Rick Steves’ recommendation and booked a car tour that took us past all the important Parisian sites so we could see them all lit up at night.

Lets skip over that part where I spent much too long trying to help our tour guide (a charming Frenchman who took us around in his personal car) pronounce my name.  I now go by Doren… or something.  Anyway, though there was a small language barrier, we were able to understand names of places and follow where our guide was pointing.

Though we both agreed that the tour maybe would’ve been more informative towards the beginning of our stay in Paris (by the last night, we had seen most of the big sights), it was still a whole new experience to see everything lit up at night. ¬†Driving in the traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe was simultaneously exciting and terrifying and seeing the opera, Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge were particularly amazing because we hadn’t seen them before.




But the best of all‚Ķ by far‚Ķ was the Eiffel Tower. ¬†We parked right in front (or was it behind?) the tower and words cannot describe how beautiful it was. ¬†And then just when I thought I’d seen the most wonderful thing in the world, the clock struck 10 and those lights started to TWINKLE. ¬†This is going to scream Stereotypical Sensitive Female, but I got teary-eyed. ¬†And as much as I wanna blame that show of emotion on the bottle of wine at dinner or the bottle of champagne we opened in front of the tower, it probably had more to do with the fact that I was¬†in Paris,¬†on my¬†honeymoon,¬†with my¬†best friend, staring at the most romantic site I’d ever seen.

P.S. Those lights only twinkle for 10 minutes. ¬†I’m so thankful that our tour guide got us there at the perfect time.




And that was Paris. ¬†In the end, I think a conversation I had with my cousin last month sums it up best. ¬†She took a trip there a few years ago and was explaining that she’s been places that she had built up so much in her mind that she was disappointed when she finally went to them, but Paris was everything she’d imagined. ¬†I couldn’t agree more. ¬†Except I might say Paris was even better than I had imagined.

December To Dos

Okay, okay, I’m¬†eight days late, but I’ve been busy decorating every empty space of our house with Christmas stuff (this house WILL BE a winter wonderland), watching Fitz & the Tantrums “get down” at the Boulder Theater (best entrance ever!) and eating soup (maybe two pots full was too much‚Ķ), so this December To Do list is just coming now.

As much as I rag on winter, December really is one of my favorite times of the year.¬† I love the holiday season and all the coziness, glitz and family time that comes along with it.¬† And as a Type A routine-follower, I love the traditions that come with the holiday season.¬† This December, I’m definitely sticking to those traditions, but hoping to add in a few new things too :)

KBCO Studio C

Ah, the unofficial kick off to December!¬† Everything about this tradition (except the part where¬†my mom claims it’s her last year to attend) makes my heart so happy.¬† They handed the CDs out at all 20 CO Whole Foods locations this year so we got fun samples while we waited in line, plus it was 36 degrees and I’ll totally take that over last year’s 0 degrees.¬† We stood in line behind a man who had all 25¬†(26 now!)¬†CDs and used to get in line a 3 AM.¬† Wowza!

Get a new December look.

As in I’m having my hair cut and dyed today!¬† I want to give this whole long hair thing a chance, but we’re gonna need some layers or something because long hair is heavy!¬† And a new hair color is always a fun way to change things up.

Go to the Parade of Lights

We always plan on going to the parade but two years ago, we got stuck in traffic and missed it and last year we chickened out because it was freezing.¬† This year was pleasantly mild, and after getting to see the penguin balloon limbo under the traffic lights, Hannah, Josh, Joey and I walked ourselves to Machete where Joey proceeded to order a shark taco…

Go to a holiday show

I can always count on my mother-in-law for this one.¬† This year, she got us all tickets to Jersey Boys at the Buell and I cannot wait.¬† I love going to the theater and seeing everyone all dressed up in their holiday best, plus there’s dinner afterwards.¬† Yes!¬† Also, Joey has some sort of surprise show later in the month that I’m so so excited about.

Cookie Baking Sesh

Save for Jersey Boys, we have nothing planned next weekend, so I’m thinking a cookie baking day is in order.¬† My mom makes Cocoons every Christmas so I think I can blame thank her for the whole “It’s not Christmas without cookies” mentality I have.¬† I already told her I’d trade her half of whatever I make for half of her Cocoons.

Host Christmas Eve

Okay, I had really thought we’d do Thanksgiving at our house this year but after realizing that’d be a lot of people in a very small space, we stuck to the separate celebrations :(¬† Christmas Eve however, should be a much smaller group, so it’s official, we’re hosting!¬† Joey doesn’t seem to want to obsess about the menu fifteen days out like I do though!

All the Christmas movies

We kicked off the Christmas movie season this weekend with some Christmas Vacation.¬† I’m usually not the biggest fan, but I felt like watching it for some reason.¬† Joey pulled Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, The Santa Clause and Scrooged out of the basement so I think we’re set for the rest of the month.

Read A Christmas Carol

Okay, yeah, I’m probably weird for wanting to read things like Wuthering Heights (which I finished last night)¬†and Charles Dickens, but I’ve never read A Christmas Carol and thought it’d make for a fun December read.

Donate the clothes and books I’ve cleaned out recently

Pretty self-explanatory.¬† Let’s not get into that part where I’ve had a bag full of books I had to buy for college in the trunk of my car…¬†FOR THREE¬†YEARS.¬† I just recently cleared a few off my book shelf so I should probably take all of those to the library to donate.

Start a Christmas morning tradition with Joey.

Last year was the first year in our history as a couple that we didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to be.¬† It was oddly relaxing.¬† Instead, we lounged in our pajamas, made waffles and watched a movie.¬† I’m thinking this could be a new tradition for us to carry on :)

I’ll refrain from adding things like “get new glasses” or “dust my shelves” because that’s probably boring, but I really should do those things too…



Christmas Light Happiness / Fitz & the Tantrums in Boulder / Major Waddles Limbo / Parade of Lights / Shark Taco / Studio C with Mom / Post-Studio C Sustenance / Mistletoe / Nog! 




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